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“Arahura needs an overhaul”
Review of Interislander

Interislander
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$48.38*
and up
InterIslander Ferry - Wellington to Picton
More Info
$48.38*
and up
InterIslander Ferry - Picton to Wellington
Ranked #12 of 237 things to do in Wellington
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: Yes
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Cruise with Interislander from Wellington to Picton across the Cook Strait and through the stunning Marlborough Sounds in just over three hours on the three largest ferries in New Zealand. Interislander is one of The Great Journeys of New Zealand and our three ships each feature several outdoor viewing decks that allow you to soak up the gorgeous New Zealand scenery as it floats by. They also have plenty of lounges, cafes and bars to choose from, plenty to keep the kids entertained - including children's play areas - and plenty for mum and dad too. Cars, vans, caravans, campervans, motorhomes, motorcycles and coaches - all vehicles are welcome, just drive on, drive off. And for the rental car providers, just drop off your car at the rental depots within our terminals then pick up another at the other end - easy! Interislander has been sailing happy holiday-makers across the Cook Strait for over 50 years, so you know you are in good hands. And with up to eleven sailings per day, our timetable is bound to fit yours. Don't just cross the Strait, cruise it with Interislander and make your perfect holiday, perfect from the very start.
Useful Information: Activities for older children, Lockers / storage, Activities for young children, Food available for purchase, Wheelchair access, Bathroom facilities, Stairs / elevator
Reviewed May 21, 2013

I travelled on the Arahura ferry on 20 May 2013. I used to use the ferries frequently a few years ago and couldn't believe how much this ship has deteriorated. I live in New Zealand and am quite simply embarrassed by the presentation of this ship. To think that they advertise this as an amazing tourist journey. The location for cruising is great, but the ship needs new seats (stained, dirty, no padding, rips, chewing gum and some broken), new carpet (stained and worn out), and a jolly good clean. I was on the late sailing and the floor had food crumbs around the edges so obviously hadn't been vacuumed from the previous voyage.
To top it off there was a rowdy bunch of school kids on board who took over the whole passenger deck (10.20pm sailing!) and the staff thought that it was acceptable for them to behave like that because they are just being kids.
I give the Interislander a poor rating, rather than terrible, because when I complained, I was given a mattress to catch some sleep in the cinema because nobody was using it.
I'd really like to suggest that for late sailings, the Interislander consider at least one "quiet area" which can be closed off from the general rowdiness of inconsiderate passengers. I bet I and the other adults paid more for my fare than each of the individual rowdy school kids did. Some consideration to adults would be a good move if you wish for them to use you again, rather than sailing on the alternative - Bluebridge.

Thank NZTiberius
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Interislander, Wholesale Manager at Interislander, responded to this reviewResponded May 22, 2013

Dear NZTiberius,

Thank you for taking the time to post your feedback.

All of your feedback has been passed on to the Ship Manager. It is unusual to have large school groups on this sailing time and on Arahura, we do have areas set aside for large groups on Kaitaki (we can do this due to her size) and your comments about a separate area for kids on Arahura has been passed on.

Cleanliness of our ships are very important to us and taken seriously, we are disappointed to hear you did not find this to be the case on your sailing and will be passing this information on to the Arahura Crew Manager.

Thank you for your suggestions and feedback, we hope to see you onboard with us again soon and if you would like to discuss your feedback further please contact us on info@interislander.co.nz.

Kind Regards,
Lisa Ashford - Interislander

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2,372 - 2,376 of 3,100 reviews

Reviewed May 19, 2013

We dropped off our hire car at the Picton wharf and then checked in at the desk with our luggage. Just like booking in for an airline. When we were allowed on board, there was an orderly boarding and we found some lounge style seats near the front of the ship. Our trip was at 10.30am so we visited the cafe on board for lunch. There was not a great choice, but certainly adequate for the crossing. We read and walked around the ship to pass the time. The scenery in Charlotte Sound was really great.
We arrived in Wellington on time after an uneventful crossing and picked up the hire car for the second leg of our trip on North Island. An excellent way of getting from Island to Island.

TIP on Hire Cars - make sure you really check the car for any damage before leaving with the car. We hired through BUDGET and the car was parked within a few inches of the car next to it on the lot, and consequently I did not have the ability to check the car on that side before moving it. After moving it, I found the scratch but Budget are claiming that I did not raise it with them before driving the car.

Thank AntarcticBound
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2013

We were in the Aratere Lounge for both legs of our return journey and thought it was excellent - great service, comfortable, good food, free Wifi, and easy access to the deck for viewing the incredible scenery.

Thank Sand175
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 15, 2013

We had an Apex car rental and had a package with free car transport on the Interislander Ferry. We booked the 8AM ferry and arrived early to queue up. Unfortunately, the ferry was delayed and we had to wait in line for over an hour. Just a tip - if you are stuck in line, there are toilets right across from the ferry entry. We couldn't see the sign from where we were parked. Upon parking the car we were directed up to the mezzanine platform, which is then elevated so cars can park underneath. We were informed that we would be the last to leave the ferry upon arrival in Picton.
Once onboard, there was a scramble for seats. We found a room on the side that had train-like seats, and we sat way in the back. Many people came in, dumped their belongings and left, so it filled up fast. Later, quite a few people came in looking for seats and were out of luck.
There was a cafe and cafeteria on the ship, but we just had coffee. The prices seemed kind of expensive.
There is also an i-site visitor center and we picked up tons of printed information for the south island, as well as receiving advice from the people at the desk. Many people were making reservations for future tours. Very convenient.
We took several walks around the ferry to pass the time and the three hours went quickly. Beautiful entrance into the harbor at Picton. We left for our car at the announcement, but had to wait for the deck to be lowered, while breathing exhaust from other cars. We should have waited longer to return to our car.

Thank Khootie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Interislander, Wholesale Manager at Interislander, responded to this reviewResponded May 22, 2013

Kia ora Khootie,

Thank you for your review and sharing some of your photos from your recent Interislander journey.

We are very pleased to hear you enjoyed the stunning view of the Marlborough Sounds and the convenience of our onboard i-site visitor centre.

Thank you for the feedback on parking your car on the mezzanine level of the ship, this has been passed on to the team concerned.

I hope you enjoyed your travels through NZ and we hope to see you onboard again in the future.

Kind Regards,
Lisa Ashford - Interislander

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Reviewed May 10, 2013

We boarded the 08:15 to Wellington and had a great trip across smooth water, plenty of room to move around. We arrived in Picton on time then the fun begin the was a high wind blowing on the side of the ship and that made docking interesting for the captain after a few goes it was back out of the harbour to allow another ferry in the we had another go got to a metre of the dock but the engaging pads that hold the ship in dock would not work so out we went again with the wind increasing, all the time we were kept updated at around 1:00 it was decided to head back to Wellington with all still on board.
This is where their service really kicked in the crew really looked after us, finger food hot drinks and regular updates.
Things go wrong, but they really looked after their passengers and yes a 3 hour cruise turned into an 11 hour round trip.
It's is Friday the 10/05/2013 and the company has refunded all today fares and given all passengers a complementary trip back to Picton. Nobody expected today's events but they did all they could to get the ship into the dock with a wind that just wanted to push it sideways, then the holders failed, then the magic of the crew took over that is why I say they are excellent

Thank HamishQLD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Interislander, Wholesale Manager at Interislander, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2013

Kia Ora HamishQLD,

Thank you for your wonderful review. This was certainly an interesting day for us, cruising these waters for 50yrs and this is only the second time this has ever happened and definitely a first for most of our staff and crew.
We are very pleased to hear you were looked after well onboard and your comments have been passed to the Kaitaki Manager to share with the crew.

Many thanks and we hope to see you back cruising with us again soon.

Kind Regards,

Lisa Ashford - Interislander

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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